The Scottish Events 2013
Photos by Terry H and Rob J
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)

Thursday 1st August
Rob J, Terry and Dilys H headed north for the Scottish VMCC events without Bill and Jean this year. Rob took the Venom as the rigid MAC had a carburettor problem and Terry took the Guzzi. We arranged a meeting at the Strensham Services on the M5 and drove to our overnight stop at the Westmorland Farm services, at Tebay, south of Carlisle. This would in theory give us a short drive to Crieff on the Friday. Some hundred miles short of our destination I noticed blue smoke pouring from Terry’s trailer left wheel. Inspection showed that the bearing cover was missing and the bearing had run hot and overheated. We managed to get some grease from a maintenance vehicle at the next services and using a cut down Costa Coffee cup, as a cover, drove carefully on.

Friday 2nd August
Early on the Friday Terry called out the breakdown services and we followed the trailer, now on the low loader, to Carlisle. By early afternoon, with all new bearings and a lighter wallet, we were on the road to Creiff where we arrived about 6pm. We set up and later went to the marquee for a chat. The bar was not open so we took a few bottles.

Saturday 3rd August
The day of the S&T was dry with some possible showers.
There were 86 entered in the programme and all the bikes were lined up. We were waved off with the Scottish flag, Terry and Dilys at 10:50 and Rob at 10:56. We had opted for the short route at 24 mph. The whole route card for the morning and afternoon sections was contained on one sheet of A4 and had only 14 instructions. The run took us to Aberfeldy, and along a lovely road with good views to the lunch stop at the Clachan Cottage Hotel, on Loch Earn.

The afternoon run was straight down the main road back to Crieff.
This interesting 1922 Humber sports 600cc flat twin was seen back at the finish.

The evening consisted of drinks and a buffet and the presentation of awards. Needless to say, we didn’t get any.

Sunday 4th August.
The morning of the social run dawned wet and grey. Leaving Crieff we splashed through some large puddles and were heading for some very dark rain clouds. After a few showers the day did brighten up. The route took us south then along the valley of the River Earn, with some lovely views, before turning up Little Glenshee. We were warned of single track roads, a sharp hairpin bend and a ford. All were negotiated with no problem.
The lunch stop was at Wester Pickston Railway. This is a 16mm railway located in a woodland site and owned by the Scottish Model Engineering Trust.

There was a short run back. On returning I found that my gas cylinder had run out in my Romahome camper, so Dilys and Terry treated me to dinner in their motorhome.

Monday 5th August.
We had decided to head further north this year so with bikes loaded on trailers we left Crieff at 10:00 to cover the 135 miles to Evanton, north of Inverness, on the Cromarty Firth.
On arrival at our campsite I enquired about a gas cylinder and was told that there were some on site. So we set up and I went off to purchase some gas only to find that they only had the smaller cylinders. “You can get some up the road in Alness about three miles away.” explained the campsite owner. The choice was to pack up the camper and disconnect everything and drive there or take the Velo. Luckily I had brought my top box so that was duly fitted and the gas cylinder wedged in and off I went. In an hour I was cooking with gas. We did some shopping in the village co-op before having an evening meal in the local pub.

Tuesday 6th August
Terry and I had discussed a trip around Loch Ness and, according to my map book, I had estimated it to be about 75 miles.

The weather was sunny and the first part of the route was quite boring. It did improve with some twisty bits on the A833 before reaching Drumnadrochit where we stopped for a cup of tea. We chatted to Dave and Val from Scarborough who told us about the parking problems at Urquart. Returning to the A82 main road to Fort Augustus we spotted a lay-by and stopped to photograph the castle. We were shouted at by one of the parking officials, but having helmets on and engines running we were unable to understand the greeting he used. At lunch in Fort Augustus, we all had some very tasty fish and chips from the Lock Inn. Terry ordered two and a half pints of lager then changed his mind and ordered some real ale which confused the landlord as he now thought we actually wanted four pints and two halves. We had our food at tables on the side of the locks and watched a boat negotiate the Caledonian Canal. Duly fed and watered we set off on B roads around the other side of the Loch. The road to Whitebridge gave us some fantastic views of the mountains and the old military road through Foyers gave us a much better and traffic free route with views of Loch Ness. This is most definitely the best side of Loch Ness for riding. We reached our campsite around tea time after a run of 101 miles according to Terry’s mileometer. Seems my estimates were slightly out.

Wednesday 7th August
It was raining when we left Evanton and headed north west to Ullapool, a gentle run of about 60 miles. As we crested a pass the rain stopped and the sun came out giving us a view down Lochbroom to Ullapool in the distance.

We camped at Broomfield Holiday Park, situated on the loch side and in easy walking distance of the town. Terry and I explored Ullapool, looked at the shops, checked the restaurants, had a pint and checked the ferry times to Stornoway.

After an evening meal at the Seaforth Bar we went back to the campsite and saw a spectacular sunset before turning in.

Thursday 8th August
Our plan today was to take a Cal-Mac ferry to Stornoway. We knew that we would have only 10 minutes on shore but we thought it would be good to view the islands off Ullapool and say we had been to the Outer Hebrides. We took binoculars so we could look out for wild life. The weather was good and we did have good views of the islands. The trip cost £17.50 return while a half day boat trip around the islands was priced at £40 in Ullapool.

Friday 9th August.
We were faced with a journey of 170 miles down to Blairgowrie for the 39th Scottish National Rally, so we set off around 10 and aimed to arrive at mid afternoon. Just outside Inverness my temperature warning light came on so I pulled over. Checking under the bonnet everything seemed fine, engine and radiator cool enough, no overheating or loss of water. We decided to press on. On reaching Blairgowrie I took a wrong turn into a cul-de-sac and needing to turn around, had to unhitch the trailer. When attempting to start the van there was nothing. Resorting to the AA it was seen that the fan belt driving the alternator was missing. The AA did not have a grooved belt but the local Puegeot garage did. Unfortunately theirs were too long but the salesman could get one by Monday. We also noticed that the wiring had been incorrectly fitted and the ignition warning light was lighting up the temperature light. Jump starting the van I headed for the Blairgowrie Rugby Club with the AA van following. What an entry!

Set up on site and it was over to the bar for a pint, nibble and natter. Imagine my surprise when I ordered some drinks to be asked if I wanted a fan belt with them! The salesman at the garage was now working behind the bar.

Saturday 10th August

Over 90 entrants assembled for the rally. We elected for the short route and 24 mph, with me setting off some 13 minutes before Terry. The route took us out over The Bridge of Cally and some mountain roads to Pitlochry and Aberfeldy to lunch at The Kenmore Hotel on Loch Tay.

The return route saw us climb up the twisting road to Glen Quiach where we met a micro car club at the summit, including one being towed up! We then followed part of the route we had taken the previous week over Little Glenshee, through the ford back to Blairgowrie. Chatting later it seemed the short route was close to 100 miles! The evening presentation saw Terry get the timekeeping award in the post 1970 class.

Sunday 11th August.

The social run was some 50 miles in total using a scenic route to Glamis where we stopped at the Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club museum to view the exhibits and have a BBQ. We called in for a pint at the Dalmore restaurant before returning to the rugby field and loading the bikes on trailers.

A good 11 days with a chance to catch up with old friends like Paddy Winters, make new ones, look at old motorcycles and ride some very interesting roads.

Terry and Dilys were next off to the Lake District while Rob was off to Dumfries to do some motorcycling with a fellow Velocette Club member. The following few pictures were taken at the Ravenglass and Eskdale 16 inch gauge steam railway in the Lake District.

Finally we would like to thank our sponsors for their help in make it possible;-

Terry and Dilys Hopes - sponsored by Costa Coffee

Rob Jones - sponsored by the AA. (yet again)